Sure, cell phones are a great invention…but they can also get in the way. In recent years, couples have had to deal with guests trying to capture the perfect wedding day shot on their cell phones. This ultimately leads to guests spending more time on their phone than actually engaging in the moment. Plus, a sea of cell phone screens can ruin the photos that the professional photographer is taking. So what can you do to tell guests you’re having an unplugged celebration? Here are a few ideas.
Give Guests a Heads Up on Your Wedding Website
It’s not a bad idea to put a note on your wedding website telling guests that you’d prefer they keep their phones in their bags or pockets during the ceremony and/or reception. This note can go on the page with the itinerary and addresses for the day, since it’s the page guests are guaranteed to look at. You may still want to use one of the below ideas at the actual wedding, but this is a nice way to give guests some warning.
In this note, it’s not a bad idea to set some clear ground rules, such as asking guests to put their phones away during the ceremony, but welcoming photos during the reception. You may also ask that guests refrain from posting photos of you and your partner until you’ve posted photos yourselves. Decide what is most important to you, and then set clear rules.
Ask Your Officiant to Make an Announcement
At the top of your ceremony, you can ask your officiant to make a quick announcement that guests should put their phones away. A simple “please put your phones away, and enjoy the ceremony!” will suffice.
Put Signs at the Entrance to Your Ceremony Space
If you’re putting up any decorative signs around your venue, you may want to use one at the entrance to the ceremony space. Invite guests into the ceremony with a sign that says “Welcome to Our Unplugged Ceremony.” If you’d like, you can further explain that you’d like guests to be cell phone-free during the night. Feel free to have a bit of fun with the language so that it reflects your personalities (“we want to see your faces, not your devices” is a popular slogan).
Add a Note to Your Wedding Programs
In your wedding program, you can add a note asking guests to put away their phones. Explain that you have a professional photographer working during your wedding and that you’re excited to share their photos with everyone!
Do a Cell Phone Check at the Start
This idea is a little controversial. That said, if you think your guests would be up for it, the best way to ensure they don’t whip out their phones to take a “sneaky” shot during the celebration is to have them check their cell phones with a designated cell phone check person. Of course, you’ll have to be respectful of guests who choose not to check their phones.
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